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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

An exploratory study of pre-service primary teachers' understanding of uncertainty in measurements in Singapore

Moorthy, K. S. January 2015 (has links)
This study was set in the context of a reform agenda for Singapore’s science curriculum to adopt inquiry in teaching and learning science (MOE, 2008). Teachers, including pre-service primary teachers (PSTs) who were subjects of this study, are expected to engage their students with scientific evidence including measurements taken during science investigations. The inherent nature of measurements is that they are always affected by errors that caused uncertainty. Understanding this, as well as other procedural ideas underpinning uncertainty would be important for understanding evidence before looking at data that are subjected to uncertainties in measurements. Such understandings would be important for the PSTs when they teach their future students how to obtain valid and reliable data, and to evaluate the methods of investigation or scientific conclusions based on evidence. This study, therefore, was aimed at exploring such understandings using the Concepts of Evidence (Gott, Duggan, and Roberts, 2008) as a theoretical framework. The lack of a research instrument customised to such a need motivated this study to develop one. The study was carried out in two phases. The first involved fifty-five PSTs and directed towards getting an accurate interpretation of procedural ideas underlying uncertainty by triangulating the evidence from questionnaire and interviews and iteratively refining the “probes” as the study progressed. The second phase focused on developing a questionnaire based on findings from the first and testing it on twenty PSTs. The results revealed that most PSTs could recognise uncertainties in measurements and suggest the right actions to deal with them, but they generally had difficulties explaining their actions implying shallow understanding of concepts underpinning uncertainty, and reliance on routine knowledge. This has strong implications for teacher preparatory programmes as well as the teaching of procedural understanding.

Understanding linear function in secondary school students : a comparative study between England and Shanghai

Wang, Yuqian January 2015 (has links)
How to facilitate students’ understanding of mathematics is a major concern for the mathematics education community as well as education authorities, especially in England, UK and Shanghai, China. However, research into such understanding in these two regions is still in its infancy. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to this research area by investigating how well students understand a particular mathematical concept, linear function, and describe how their understanding has been shaped. A model of understanding function is defined in terms of six levels: Variable Perspective, Dependent Relationship, Connecting Representations, Property Noticing, Object Analysis, and Inventising. These six levels are developed by examining the most prominent theories from existing Western and Eastern literature on understanding function. Using this model, three perspectives around understanding linear function are investigated: what the official documents expect; what students actually achieve; and teachers’ views of how students’ understanding of linear function develops. Mixed methods are adopted to portray a holistic view of understanding function in the two regions. The quantitative data analysis includes three curricula and seven selected textbooks to identify their characteristics and requirements. The main study also analyses student tests from 403 Year 10 Higher Level English students and 907 Grade 8 Shanghai students. Findings demonstrate that the Shanghai students have more abstract understanding than the English Higher Level students, and are more comfortable with algebraic expression, which is emphasised heavily in the Shanghai curriculum and textbook. The graphic representation dominates the Higher Level English students’ solution approaches, which is again emphasised in their textbooks. This study recommends that the more emphasis should be on algebraic expression for understanding linear function in England and graphic representation in Shanghai.

Fluid cultures and identifications : the intercultural communication experiences of Saudi international students in the UK

Alqahtani, Muneer Hezam M. January 2015 (has links)
This thesis is an investigation into the intercultural communication experiences of Saudi international students in the UK. It focuses on the friendship experiences that Saudi international students form with home and international students in order to engage in intercultural interactions. It further investigates how Saudi international students experience interactions with individuals from the opposite gender with whom they have limited interactions with in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the study focuses on the incidents that may motivate or demotivate Saudi international students from engaging in intercultural communication. Finally, this thesis considers the changes that the participants had introduced to their worldviews, identifications and practices as a result of their overall intercultural experiences in the UK. The findings show that 1) the participants’ identifications of in-group and out-group members were inconsistent and the boundaries between both categories were difficult to identify. 2) In contrast to studies, which suggest that Saudi international students are homogeneous Muslims who come from a collectivistic culture, the findings show that the participants had different worldviews and identifications and cannot be categorized in a fixed category. 3) The findings also illustrate that despite the segregation between men and women in Saudi Arabia, Saudi international students do not necessarily find interaction with individuals from the opposite gender challenging, as some literature claims. 4) The experiences that demotivated the participants from engaging in intercultural communication are not necessarily negative ones, since universities religious organisations, such as the Islamic Society, which was perceived positively by the participants, may also contribute to demotivating their attendees from experiencing intercultural communication. 5) The overall intercultural experiences in the UK had influenced the participants’ worldviews, identifications and practices on various levels. Thus, some participants introduced significant changes to their worldviews and identifications, others accepted changes that do not contradict with their understandings of religion, while others resisted any changes. Overall, the study argues for moving beyond essentialist descriptions for Saudi international students that describe them as a homogeneous Muslim group, coming from a collectivistic culture in a country where men are dominant over women. The study gives valuable insights and practical implications for UK universities and Saudi Cultural Bureaux abroad where Saudi international students form a noticeable number amongst other international students.

A qualitative exploration of how host Chinese staff make sense of their intercultural experiences in a Sino-foreign cooperative university

Dong, Hongbo January 2014 (has links)
This study is concerned with how host Chinese staff (HCS) make sense of their intercultural experiences in a Sino-foreign cooperative university from a sensemaking perspective. Specifically, the study qualitatively explores HCS’s perceptions of and their responses to cultural differences. The empirical findings show that: 1) HCS construct cultural differences from three perspectives: personality traits, communication styles, and cultural values. 2) HCS’s responses to cultural differences are identified as three types: fight-flight, acceptance, and intercultural sensemaking which encompasses three concurrent processes: learning, identity construction, and relationship building. In addition, the findings also show the hindrances of intercultural sensemaking from the perspective of HCS: lack of language proficiency, lower self-esteem, lack of similarity, lack of availability, and perceived communication difficulties. 3) HCS’s engagement in intercultural sensemaking can lead to the development of intercultural competence in terms of awareness of the self and the other, communicating across culture, acquiring cultural knowledge, intercultural responsibility building, and positive attitudes. A model of HCS’s intercultural interaction is developed based on the empirical findings. It provides a holistic overview of HCS’s intercultural interaction, and highlights the dynamic nature of sensemaking. The findings give valuable insights and have practical implications for multicultural organisations and individuals working or interested in working in multicultural organisations, especially in the context of China.

An argument-based validation study of the Teacher Performance Assessment in Washington State

Henning, Angela Sue January 2014 (has links)
This study examines the validity assumptions of the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) using data collected from teacher candidates, mentor teachers, university supervisors and university faculty in two programs at one university during the 2012 field test in Washington State. Applying the work of Michael Kane (2006) on argument-based validation, this study developed interpretations and assumptions of TPA test score use using the following five inferences: Construct Representation, Scoring and Evaluation, Generalization, Extrapolation, and Decision Making. This multi-method study utilizes survey, case study, and test score data. The overarching research question that guided the study was “Is the TPA a valid measure for determining teacher readiness?” The overall findings suggest that the operationalized construct of readiness is stable but scores are not generalizable across populations and guidance was not in place regarding score meaning and use prior to the field test. Low correlation between the TPA and university instruments provided divergent evidence for the use of TPA scores, indicating that decisions made based solely from TPA scores may not be reliable.

The impact of trust on school principals' leadership

Wood, Peter Raymond January 2014 (has links)
The impact of trust on working relationships has become a focus of discussion by educational researchers. However, the role trust plays in the relationship between principal and teacher has seen few studies undertaken and thus forms the basis for this study’s investigation. The primary aim of this study in contributing to educational research focuses on developing an understanding of the conditions that allow trust to develop and those that damage trust from being established or maintained between principal and staff member. This study is informed by a synthesis of theoretical and educational research of the dimensions of trust, and through a field-study, examination of the impact staff actions have on the maintenance and repair of trust and the impact these actions have on the principal. The main question of the study is: “What is the impact of trust on school principals’ leadership?” The first phase of the research design incorporates a literature review to distil the current knowledge of trust, so as to establish a theoretical context for the study. The second phase of the study employs a qualitative research methodology engaging 20 Western Australian school principals in the process of recounting their observations of trust relationships in their schools. The links between phases of the study identify common themes. The study found that trust plays an important role in the establishment and maintenance of working relationships between school principals and their staff. The findings identify the importance of trust to principals; the conditions that promote and diminish trust in relationships, the outcomes of breaches of trust, and the conditions that allow for trust repair. The findings are discussed in the light of contemporary research of trust in related fields and recommendations are made for further research.

Hong Kong students studying abroad : the impact of curriculum, structure and ethos : a case study of a residential British boarding school

Ogilvy-Stuart, Jessica Mary Therese January 2014 (has links)
The purpose of this research is to explore the effect which curriculum, ethos, teaching and family support have on the way that Hong Kong students adapt and contribute to life in a British residential school. The recruitment of Hong Kong students into British boarding schools has increased dramatically over the last thirty years but as yet there has been little research in this area. This thesis employed a case study methodology to examine the experiences of Hong Kong students in the school in order to determine the factors which contributed to the success of otherwise of their stay. This research was conducted by using a qualitative, observation participant approach, collecting data over four prolonged visits to the school. Five key questions are addressed: in what ways do the classroom behaviours of Hong Kong students change as a result of their encounters in a British boarding school? Are Western teaching styles adapted to cater for students of different educational backgrounds? To what extent do the curriculum, structure and ethos of the school contribute to creating intercultural cohesion? To what extent does a cultural transfer take place? And what is the effect of the family on Hong Kong students in a British boarding school? The findings indicate that, although there are some initial difficulties for students in adjusting when they first arrive at the school, the institution is very successful in creating a harmonious intercultural community of respect where national identities are preserved. The study of this bounded community offers examples of how a learning environment which is not representative of a single culture may be created. The setting is significant as the boarding school is a closed environment in which student life is highly organised and therefore primary contact is with the culture of the school rather than that of the country.

Exploring college students' motivational beliefs in ability-grouped English classes in Taiwan

Tsai, Hui-Ju January 2015 (has links)
According to research on social-cognitive theory, motivation can be defined as a way of belief in one’s own competence, to value the task and further to achieve the set goals. Researchers have suggested a direct link between motivation beliefs and student achievement. In order to understand whether the motivation beliefs of students would be different in an EFL ability grouping context, this study examined an integrated motivation model including instrumentality, achievement goal, self-efficacy, expectancy-value, attribution, and self-regulation amongst three different ability groups at one university in Taiwan. Participants were grouped in three different level based on their pre-test scores: advanced level group, higher-intermediate level group and intermediate level group. Their academic achievements were demonstrated comparing their attitude towards ability grouping with their perception of the motivation variables. The purpose of this research is to discover whether ability grouping setting is beneficial for both student motivation and performance in EFL classes. In a survey study, 681 college students in a first-year undergraduate English course completed a motivation questionnaire. The results of this study revealed that student instrumentality, achievement goal, expectancy-value, self-efficacy and self-regulation are significantly positively correlated with their attitudes in an ability grouping context. Linear regression analyses demonstrate that expectancy-value was the strongest predictor of students’ post-test scores, and there are other predictors such as student level and their perception of attributions. However, self-efficacy, performance goals, and self-regulation were not significant predictors to student academic performance in the integrated model. In addition, the study revealed a preference of mastery goals for students in higher ability groups and a preference of attributions for lower-achieving group. However, there were no differences in instrumentality, performance goals, and self-regulation amongst the three ability groups, suggesting that students at ability grouping classes are no difference in the motivational belief of instrumental goal, performance goals and self-regulation. By contrast, there were differences in student motivation in attitudes, instrumentality, expectancy-value, mastery goal, self-efficacy and mastery goals in an ability grouping class. Consequently, the findings suggest teachers should be encouraged to create an environment where developing student motivation is encouraged in order to develop further the achievement rate within the confines of an EFL ability grouping class.

Identity, language, and education : a case study in Taiwan

Lee, Grace Yu-Shin January 2014 (has links)
The concept of identity as well as its construction process is a complex one. In order to better understand this concept of identity, the objective of this study was to look at the life history of one Taiwanese woman who has lived through three educational systems in Taiwan. Her life story, collected through multiple interviews, is examined for moments and experiences which depict her views on her identity, and later analyzed with particular attention to the relationship between identity, language and education. Her narratives show that her identities are fluid, context-dependent and multi-faceted; characteristics of identity which have been proposed by other researchers in their studies. Following analysis of the stories she tells, I have identified three main identities that she holds and have attempted to show how education and language pertain to this identity. It appears that the role of education and language is important and definitely has influence on an individual’s identity and also an individual’s ability to become a member of selected groups. However, it would be careless to disregard other factors,such as family and socio-political situations because often these factors can be linked to language and education as well and have emerged from this study as also being influential factors.

An investigation into perceptions of non-native English teachers in Shanghai about their English teaching role and responsibilities in secondary schools

Mellen, Bradley Dean January 2014 (has links)
Purpose: The Non-native English (NNE) teachers who teach English as a Foreign Language face unique societal and job-related challenges. NNE teachers have been a significant part of China’s development and educational reform since 1978. The perceptions and beliefs of six Shanghai-based English teachers with varying degrees of teaching experience, while performing their language teaching duties at the secondary school level are discussed herein. While teaching and use of English have been government goals since 1978, observing teaching patterns and the underlying theories at work, have only recently begun to be elaborated upon. Procedures: This ethnographic study, using Grounded Theory analysis, through in-depth interviews and classroom observations; elaborates how English language teaching within China’s educational system and the changes over time affect teacher perspectives. Data collected from in-depth, unstructured interviews were analysed and categorized using Classic Grounded Theory. Continuous, comparative analysis of interview data was carried out, resulting in an understanding of language teaching roles and routines. Classroom observations with accompanying discussion afterwards are described and provide a greater insight into the perspectives of language teachers. Comparison of the perspectives of three generations of teachers gave further insight into how social and educational lives are changing over time. Major findings: Underlying theories uncovered from data analysis are put forth, including: The theory of the dominance of the high-stakes university entrance examination held at the end of secondary school and the teachers’ personal teaching preferences, called ‘inner curriculum’ are discussed as emerging patterns in the thought processes of these teachers. Other emerging theories uncovered in this study included teachers’ consistent interest in and knowledge of their students’ learning processes and progress, and how language teachers responded to ongoing elements of change. This study provides analysis of the inner workings within Shanghai’s English teaching classrooms through the eyes of these teachers.

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